VALLEY OF THE MOON FIDDLE CAAAAAMMMMMPPP!!!
Hey guys! Sorry for the silence. I've been off the grid for a week at Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp. Yep. Fiddle camp. While the rest of the Bay Area drudges out to the middle of the playa to set up shop at Burning Man, I head for the redwoods of Bonny Doon and ..... Fiddle camp. This is my fifth year at VOM, a camp run by Scottish fiddle legend Alasdair Fraser. You probably haven't heard of him unless you're a folk nerd like I am (ahem... Jonathan...) BUT he plays the soundtrack on Titanic, so if you've seen that obscure film, you've heard Alasdair play. He's a fiery Scotsman, and introduced me to my first dram of laphroaig. Yep. Real Scotch. Camp this year was, once again, a dream. I find myself at a loss to describe the true nature of fiddle camp. Imagine, 250 fiddle, guitar, cello, mandolin, banjo, and accordion players (3 to be exact), camping in cabins in the woods for a week with a full bar and two costume parties. Things get a little crazy. Shall we say... Electric. Liberated from our dull daily lives and surrounded by the buzzing vibrations of the trees and strings, we spiral ever-upward in extreme soul expression as the week progresses. Part of this is due to the absolute delirium that sets in after multiple nights of three hours of sleep. A typical day starts with fiddle class in a redwood grove at 9 am, followed by another class with another teacher, followed by singing, cello, guitar, dance or percussion, followed by lunch, followed by more fiddle class and more singing, etc. Then happy hour, a student concert, dinner, a costume party and an all-night jam or seven. We play. We dance, we let go and lose (or find) ourselves in the magnitude of the space. Playing music 24 hours a day in and of itself is transformative, but something really special happens at VOM. Community grows. After a number of years, I've had the opportunity to feel into the space at varying junctures in my own life as well as through the ebb and flow of the camp itself. Each year is unique. This year, deep conversations reigned supreme. In the past, I've felt connected to other campers, but haven't dove as immediately into deeply authentic conversations about life, love, magic, and the yearning to shift the paradigm of modern culture. I deeply believe that the structure of our society is beginning to crumble, and old social, political and interrelational models are being transformed into new ones. Never did I expect to be discussing these things at camp, finding collaborators and co-conspirators. But life surprises you, and when there is a storm brewing, those of us who are awake at the crow's nest take notice. Hoping we can steer the ship to safety. Enjoy the mini walk-through of camp. Tiny taste of the experience. Hope to see you all there to nurture the sparks of the revolution. :-) Peace and love, Laura
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